Skip to Main Content

The Reign of Queen Elizabeth II (1952-2022): Overview

A brief historical overview with related resources available at Fordham Libraries and beyond.


This guide provides an overview of the reign Queen Elizabeth II and the pivotal role she has played in world history. Here you will find a timeline of her 70 year reign over the British Commonwealth along with a variety of resources containing biographical information and historical context that are available at Fordham Libraries and beyond.

Queen Elizabeth II, 1952 

   Queen Elizabeth II, 1952 (source: Getty Images)                                                           Queen Elizabeth II, 2012 (source: Getty Images)


  • 6 February 1952: 26 year old Princess Elizabeth ascends to the throne after the death of her father, King George VI
  • 2 June 1953: Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II
  • 19 February 1960: Birth of Prince Andrew
  • 10 March 1964: Birth of Prince Edward
  • 20 October 1973: Queen Elizabeth II opens the Sydney Opera House in Australia
  • October 1986: Queen Elizabeth II becomes the first British monarch to visit China
  • 20 November 1992: Fire destroys part of Windsor Castle
  • 24 November 1992: The Queen delivers a speech in London to mark the 40th anniversary of her accession to the throne, famously declaring 1992 an "annus horribilis"
  • 10 April 1998: The Good Friday Agreement establishes peace in Northern Ireland, thus ending The Troubles
  • 6 February 2002: Golden Jubilee marks the 50th anniversary of the Queen's accession to the throne
  • 6 February 2012: Diamond Jubilee marks the 60th anniversary of the Queen's accession to the throne
  • 31 January 2020: The United Kingdom withdraws from the European Union in the historic political event known as Brexit
  • 9 April 2021: Prince Philip dies after being married to the Queen for 73 years
  • 6 February 2022: Platinum Jubilee is held to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Queen's accession to the throne
  • 8 September 2022: Queen Elizabeth II dies at Balmoral Castle, aged 96; Prince Charles immediately succeeds her place on the throne to become King Charles III; Princess Anne is the Princess Royal
  • 19 September 2022: The State Funeral of Her Majesty the Queen at Westminster Abbey

Official Biographies

Oral Histories

Public Image

Monarchy on Film